I took a lot of pictures of geese yesterday. That's what happens when I am away from home. I focus on whatever looks different and sits still. This trip to Richland, it was geese along the river.
I don't like geese. Or sea gulls, or just about any other clunky big bird that tourists attract. I like little woodland birds that flit around like fairies, tiny and elusive. I guess that is what I appreciate most about birds, their scarceness.
But yesterday Mom, Tim, and I went for a walk in a Richland park. Of course I took my camera because I am away from home and doing things. But the trouble with Richland is that it is too big to take pictures of. The sky sprawls out from one horizen to horizon.. Sand and hills take over the sprawling duties from there.
Looking at pictures of vast vistas is tedious because you always have to add the commentary like: “now that dark line is a row of trees that must have been fifty feet high, and that brown dot in the corner is a grizzley bear. I can't believe how close I was to that bear. You know grizzles can run fast and kill people? Oh that blur in the corner? That's where my finger was over the lens.”
There aren't any bears in Richland. It's a desert, but I figured a park must have something pictureques, so I brought the camera. Sure enough, first thing out of the car was a flock of geese. Which meant we had to spend a lot of time watching where we stepped. Okay, I thought, let's see some geese pictures. Oh great, not just Canada geese, but some species I have never seen before. Okay, five or six pictures of geese. Let's move along.
We walked about fifty yards and no other photo opportunity came along, but there were more geese. As long as I had my camera out, I took some more pictures. I also took pictures of Mom and Tim, but they would not stand still as long as the geese did. Up and down the path between the river and the park there was nothing to take pictures of except vast vistas or Mom and Tim or geese.
Towards the end of the walk we came across a bronze statue of a cougar. Cougars are mythological creatures that every place 'out west' claims to have some of. I have heard many legends of cougar sightings, but like all legends, the accounts were second hand. This cougar statue came with an obligatory informational plaque about cougars haunting the Horse Heaven Hills. The statue was offered as proof that someone had seen one long enough to know what it looked like.
So, even though I knew it was stupid, I took a picture of the statue. Mom helped out a bit by posing with it so I didn't feel like a total idiot. “See this picture of a statue of a cougar? Much more informative than a picture you might find in a book of the real thing. Yes, that's how big a cougar really is. Mom never could have petted a real cougar. If there really is such a thing.”
So although the park was especially parkish, and the Columbia Basin is breathtakingly beautiful, what I have is pictures of a statue and geese.
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